Today I walked the Maryfield tramway into Dundee city center.
Unfortunately I got distracted, here are my thoughts…
Mr Manson was walking on the busy Victoria road, where the trams pass in both directions. In the corner of his eye, he spotted a wee lad on a bike trying to cross the road. Mr Manson could see that the lad thought he could get out and pass the tram before the other tram passed in the opposite direction. On lookers watched in dismay and the lad nearly made it but was caught just as the trams met. The drivers slammed on the breaks hard and with a high-pitched screech both trams stopped suddenly.
By the time Mr Manson reached the incident, he began to laugh uncontrollably. There stuck neatly between the two trams was the wee lad, still sitting on the cycle looking bewildered. He had been caught between each tram by the handlebars and the look on his face was priceless.
It took ten minuets of careful manoeuvring, easing both trams back and forward before there was room to turn the handlebars and get the bike free.
Inspired by a story found in the Dundee Press and Journal
After my visit to the transport museum, I decided it would be useful to purchase a map of Dundee. I am always looking to save money and the obvious solution was to purchase a second hand map on eBay.
The parcel arrived by post, I opened the brown paper parcel and predicted a morning of drawing the lines of the tram routes I will follow. I wondered if this would be a easy task on a 1980’s edition of the Dundee streets.
I was very disappointed to find someone had already drawn a route on the map and I studied the colourful lines drawn with felt tip, on the maps surface. An uneasy feeling started to grip my body. The lines on the map followed the route of the tramways I will walk. “No way!” I though, “How is that even possible.” and “Will anyone believe me!”
I have decided to walk the trace of the tramway, from Dundee past. The journey is the line on the map above. I intentionally gave myself a set route to give the journey some level control than the art of drifting.
What makes the walk along the tramline in Dundee art is my intention to walk – it’s a decision I have made, if those lines were the marks of a drawing there would be no hesitation, yes this is art, but those lines I walk can be compared to the drawn lines , they have the same intention, the details I highlight on my journey can be compared to the finer details of a drawing. The same intention a draftsman has in creating 3-dimensional spaces on a page in the same intention I have in presenting time and space within the journey.
I found a drawing of the old tramways on the bottom shelf of a cabinet in Dundee Transport Museum. It was hidden under the history of timetables and tickets. My mind wonders, what stories could be found within those streets?
“The trace of the journey represents the temporal gap between the past and the present.”